Stephen Speicher

Casino Royale (2006)

Rate this movie   35 votes

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28 posts in this topic

Great movie, and manly too, for those who appreciate that sort of thing B) It's very different from previous Bond movies, and seems reminiscent only of the very first "Dr. No" where Bond was still raw. In this prequel he is prior to even that film, prior to the polish and the favorite drink. But not prior to the style, the efficacy, the competence.

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Great movie, and manly too, for those who appreciate that sort of thing B) It's very different from previous Bond movies, and seems reminiscent only of the very first "Dr. No" where Bond was still raw. In this prequel he is prior to even that film, prior to the polish and the favorite drink. But not prior to the style, the efficacy, the competence.

These are wonderful indicators: a favorable review on THE FORUM, and 2 votes, one 10 and one 9. Even the mainstream critics are excited. Boxofficemojo's Scott Holleran doesn't seem too happy though.

I have to wait till next week to see it, when my better half gets into town.

I read the book earlier in the year just to be able to compare Fleming's vision with what they've put on screen.

I've been in support of the choice of Craig since I saw him in Layer Cake. His overall performance in that movie is not particularly Bond-like -- it's just the one scene in which he executes an enemy. He's dressed like a ninja, all in black, and his cold blue eyes serve the same purpose as his pistol, delivering finality to his victim.

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Boxofficemojo's Scott Holleran doesn't seem too happy though.

Nothing personal intended against Scott, but whenever I hear about his movie reviews, they are uniformly highly negative. Perhaps I'm missing the good reviews.

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Boxofficemojo's Scott Holleran doesn't seem too happy though.

I have to say, I don't agree this review. The new 007 has more brawn than brains? Who could forget that incredible scene on the train, where Bond exchanges blow for blow in a battle of wits with the woman he loves? Or the penetrating observations he makes throughout the film? This Bond is sharp. An over-the-top vacationer mistakes Bond for a valet boy and orders him to hurry up and park the car; "Oh yes sir, of course sir," he replies, crashing the car and throwing away the keys in contempt. This Bond doesn't hold back!

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Boxofficemojo's Scott Holleran doesn't seem too happy though.

Nothing personal intended against Scott, but whenever I hear about his movie reviews, they are uniformly highly negative. Perhaps I'm missing the good reviews.

That's my view of his work too: many more nays than ayes. I suspect he may have to be harsher because his reviews, being professional and irrevocable, drive him to hold the full context of film history in mind. But, that's just a guess. I am sometimes baffled by how out-of-sync his judgments are with mine.

I often wonder what his methodology is, which is not to say that I think it's flawed; I'm more curious than critical. All in all, I think he's a very good critic. If a movie makes it past him, it's usually intelligent and very well-made, even if not always in agreement with me.

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This could be the best one ever. My favorites are this one, Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service. My top favorite has been OHMSS, but I now must consider topping it.

My only other comment: it's nice to have the franchise rediscover the art of filmmaking. If this were the last Bond film made, they've provided a perfect climax.

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I really liked the movie, for several reasons. First, D. Craig has a very different "aura" from the recent actors. There's much more controlled violence exuding from him than from any other actor since Sean Connery. I think this is truer to the books (not a critical thing) and offers much more potential for dramatic tension. The movie looses in "cuteness", but I don't think it matters.

I think the Judy Dench / Daniel Craig duo offers great prospects for deep character development and dramatic tension in the future too. Dame Dench is obviously an outstanding actress, and she's great as M in my opinion.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

This movie relied much more on character and scenario than the other Bonds. It reminded me more of 24 for its realistic use of technology & deeper drama. It's interesting to note that Q doesn't even make an apparition - there are no gadgets (if one excludes the Aston Martin DB9...)

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post

I would like to add my favorable comments to this movie, it is outstanding. I like the plot and the action as this movie has both. I like the new Bond, Daniel Craig (I also like the others). I also like Bond's harshness when dealing with his enemies, he is tough.

One thing I would like to comment on since others have brought it up is the review by Scott Holleran which I disagree with. One of my disagreements is with a statement by Bond that Mr. Holleran has taken as evidence of destroying Bond. The comment was about Bond's famed drink, "shaken or stirred?" Bond replies to this statement by saying "do I look like I give a damn." The context of that scene was that Bond was dejected and angry and needing of a drink. In that context I see nothing wrong with his statements.

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

One thing I would like to comment on since others have brought it up is the review by Scott Holleran which I disagree with. One of my disagreements is with a statement by Bond that Mr. Holleran has taken as evidence of destroying Bond. The comment was about Bond's famed drink, "shaken or stirred?" Bond replies to this statement by saying "do I look like I give a damn." The context of that scene was that Bond was dejected and angry and needing of a drink. In that context I see nothing wrong with his statements.

I view it also in a different context. This Bond film is a prequel, which means that it starts indefinitely before "Dr. No"; here Bond just gets hired as a 007, just begins his work relationship with M; etc. As such, he has not yet developed all of the features of James Bond that we have come to know; he comes into the job with what he has already, and will develop the rest as time goes on. Seeing the issue from this angle, I think it's great that Bond doesn't care yet what drink he loves; in fact for most of the movie he's trying to figure out what he loves to drink, if you remember. So not having Craig repeat all the typical stock Bond phrases right away I think is a wonderful method to leave room for Bond to grow; and considering that I've heard a trilogy is planned, the prospects get better and better. Let's not forget what Bond says at the very end; it's a sign of even better things to come.

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SPOILERS

The comment was about Bond's famed drink, "shaken or stirred?" Bond replies to this statement by saying "do I look like I give a damn." The context of that scene was that Bond was dejected and angry and needing of a drink. In that context I see nothing wrong with his statements.

Nor do I, and in fact, I like how all of the cliches (the girls, the cars, the gadgets, the "Bond. James Bond.", etc.) are not used as cliched. They are there, but played with. In nearly every movie prior, these things were included and expected, and became pointless; they were included for their own sake, adding NOTHING to the individual movie. In this case, the obvious is thrown out, and a new spin is taken. They don't abandon or destroy Bond; they play with the cliches, while building a new vision of him.

I commented earlier to a friend that Moore, Dalton and Brosnan seemed like they struggled to fill the shoes of the role; Craig steals the role and makes it his own. The last three were pretenders; Craig is Bond.

Also, I ran across an article in this weekend's WSJ that concludes:

------------------

With "Casino Royale," the Broccolis [the producers] pushed Bond in a different direction -- abondoning the flashy, playboy-with-gadgets approach of recent years in favor of a more emotional tone.

During the script-development process, Sony executives wondered aloud whether the stripped-down "Royale" needed more in the way of gadgets and Bond's double-entendre lines. Despite the inclusion of a few gizmos... "Royale" lacks the tricked-out cars and covert weapons of past films.

The producers refused to add more. "We felt we needed to make a change in the series," Ms. Broccoli says. "So...we thought, let's go back and make a Bond film as though there'd never been any made before."

-------------

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This movie was a big surprise to me. I was expecting yet another James Bond flick -- lots of action with cute gadgets and sexy women -- but instead I got lots of action without a lot gadgets, and one fairly intelligent woman. The banter between Bond and Vesper was precious, something totally absent from the earlier films. In fact, as a fan who first read all the books, this is certainly a James Bond not familiar to me. But, I can see how the psychology of the Bond in this movie could eventually evolve into the Bond I know.

I treat this film as a prequel to Ian Fleming's vision of James Bond, one that makes some sense psychologically. But the film stands on its own; interesting plot, good characterizations, witty dialogue, and heart-stopping action. The foot chases, not the car chases, stood out in this movie. All in all, a surprisingly enjoyable film.

p.s. Speaking of heart-stopping, the trailer they showed in the theater for Spider-Man 3 gave me the chills. This sequel could be a really good movie.

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p.s. Speaking of heart-stopping, the trailer they showed in the theater for Spider-Man 3 gave me the chills. This sequel could be a really good movie.

I saw the trailer on the Web last week, it was breath-taking!!

How can anyone not LOVE Western Civilization???

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That was the first time a sailing vessel has been down the Grand Canal in 350 years.

www.spirityachts.com

If I hadn't heard that this Bond was radically different in the sailing press, I would've stayed away.

I was very pleasantly surprised.

I'm guessing Fleming has finally stopped spinning in his grave.

JohnRGT

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Spoilers

I really loved this movie. One could see a difference immediately: no sexy women outlined in the opening scenes. James Bond was clearly the sexy one in this movie. No babes in bikinis. No 6th grade jokes. I loved the acting, the story, and the direction. The movie really focused on developing Bond into what he becomes: from someone who trusts his friends to an agent who trusts no one; from someone learning his trade to an expert in his trade.

I hope future movies continue with this character style.

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Spoilers

I really loved this movie. One could see a difference immediately: no sexy women outlined in the opening scenes.

I hope they bring this back. I've always found those very sexy and all things considered tame enough to be reasonably elegant...

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The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul-erosion produced by high gambling - a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension - becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.

James Bond suddenly knew he was tired. He always knew when his body or his mind had had enough and he always acted on the knowledge. This helped him to avoid staleness and the sensual bluntness that breeds mistakes.

I went into this movie very, very excited; and it never once let me down. Daniel Craig's performance is magnificent, and desspite the movie being 'bootleg' Romanticism and not on the dramatic level of V for Vendetta or Lady in the Water, it was the first time I wished THE FORUM had an '11' option for rating movies.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

In my opinion, Craig's Bond is precisely the agent Fleming wrote about in Casino Royale: professional and mean, but still open to the love of a Vesper Lynd. The Bond in this book is a precursor to the Bond in the other books.

The screenplay kept a lot of what was best about the book and added some very good things. Lazenby, Moore, and Brosnan (perhaps against their wishes) played Bond as one-third-action-man, two-thirds-socialite. Connery played him as mostly action man in Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, and Thunderball. Craig plays him straight, matching Connery's portrayal in Dr. No. (I think his Bond is better than Connery's but I may be biased because Craig's Bond is set in my time.)

When watching Craig, I couldn't help thinking of the lines uttered by Jane Seymour's Carribean seer in the Live And Let Die film: "There is a man...he travels fast...he has purpose...he brings violence and destruction." Craig gives Bond a purposeful, springy step, never lingering in a dinner jacket for the sake of a loving camera or a cavalier quip; and, by showing a responsible, thinking man with strong personal values, grounds him in reality.

I very much enjoyed the prologue, which told of how he earned his license to kill. (I don't know why the story was used though - isn't Bond a Naval Commander?) In this area among others, the movie stood on its own.

We see the ruthless Bond impress his boss - as the best employees always do. He breaks into her house and into her personal account, providing silent notice that he is not dispensable and should the service turn against him, he will not go quietly. We warm to his easy charm, the type only a man of total confidence can possess. We observe him composing his signature martini, dispatching evil summarily, and yet, never betraying his masculinity for a moment.

The first foot chase was an eloquent illustration of brain over brawn (contrary to Mr. Holleran): the bombmaker relies entirely on speed, agility, and strength; Bond "cuts corners" using levers, machinery, and shortcuts to outwit his target.

Director Martin Campbell (Goldeneye) tones down the far-fetched stuntwork of his earlier Bond film to fit a more mature script, written by Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), without losing the verve and excitement necessary for action cinema.

The loyalty to Mr. Fleming's layered characterization pays off, giving the film a heft that none of its predecessors had, so that, when the heartbroken but steely Mr. Bond, in the final scene, ditches his quiet suit and pistol, for a beautiful three-piece suit and extravagant firepower, and utters the legend, we know something has changed in the universe.

And so did the value-starved audience in my theatre, which clapped wholeheartedly in appreciation for about 15 seconds as the credits rolled.

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I hope they bring this back. I've always found those very sexy and all things considered tame enough to be reasonably elegant...

I have no problem with it, once in a while. It just seemed that each movie was just doing more fancy maneuvers with more revealing outlines of women in more provocative action. I think this is the only movie I have ever seen in which I've actually had an emotional response to seeing a sexy, muscular man.

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... desspite the movie being 'bootleg' Romanticism...
What makes you think it is "bootleg" Romanticism?

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... desspite the movie being 'bootleg' Romanticism...

What makes you think it is "bootleg" Romanticism?

Thank you for asking me that, Ed. It made me re-read Ayn Rand's essay, Bootleg Romanticism (in The Romantic Manifesto).

In the several passes I'd made through the article in the past, I had come to classify virtually all Bond movies, except Dr. No, as bootleg, since they seemed to fall into the same category as the tongue-in-cheek thrillers Miss Rand wrote about. I must have then dropped a huge context somewhere and conceptualized any modern Bond movie as bootlegged Romanticism.

I think the error came primarily from an equivocation on "bootleg," in this context, to mean not just any attempt to furtively shop a poorly-made, contaminated good, but also any attempt to furtively shop any good.

My sincerest apologies to Ian Fleming and the brave producers, cast, and crew of Casino Royale.

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A local paper ran a picture of Ian Fleming I thought FORUM members would enjoy. While searching for a link, I bumped into the following:

Ian Fleming’s authentic James Bond character carries on today via the Fleming family and Charlie Higson in the bestselling Young Bond series of novels. A modern reboot of the cinematic 007 will appear in November in Casino Royale.

In 2008, Ian Fleming Publications will release a new adult 007 novel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s birth.

For the pic, srcoll to the bottom of:

http://tinyurl.com/y2tw8w

JohnRGT

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WARNING - POTENTIAL SPOILERS

I gave this movie a 10.

I enjoyed the character development and I felt that seeing Bond at one movement the cold and calculating assasin and the next minute the love interest (flame!) of Vesper Lynd, sexy banter on the train, holding her in the shower after she witnessed his violent ability for the first time (no, not in bed) , telling her she could have whatever was left of him, that he loved her, even as he laid over her dead body and wept.

Daniel Craig was... [i have typed so many different things and erased] ... so sexy! Mmmmmm...

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Casino Royale was released on DVD today and I hope for those that enjoyed it as much as I did and do, that they can enjoy it many more times.

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